What is coastal grandmother?
I would say there is a good chance that many people (myself included) have the coastal grandmother aesthetic, but maybe we just don’t call it that. The coastal grandmother trend started to take hold in 2022 when 27-year-old TikTokker Lex Nicoleta, who coined the phrase Coastal Grandmother, had a post go viral, and well…it took off! Lexi says, “If you like Nancy Meyers’ movies, coastal vibes, recipes, and cooking Ina Garten…you might be a coastal grandmother.” And Olivia Marcus wrote this in StyleCaster, “Essentially, a coastal grandmother is an entire lifestyle inspired by the aesthetic portrayed in Nancy Meyers’ movies. Perhaps you’ve always felt an affinity to Diane Keaton’s character in Something’s Gotta Give or Natasha Richardon’s portrayal of the glamorous mom in The Parent Trap—if so, you may be a coastal grandmother.”
This fashion/design trend blends casual elegance with a little bit of bohemian charm. It creates a style that is both relaxed and refined. What I love most about the coastal grandmother look it that it embraces all the things I love; morning coffee, a beach house, natural fabrics, soft neutral tones and the beauty of coastal living. It reminds me of taking nice long walks on deserted sandy beaches, natural elements, fresh flowers, a farmer’s market, a bowl of lemons, cozy interiors, a good book, classic style and all the things that make me happy.
What can you do with the coastal grandmother style?
After a recent beach-combing adventure, I wanted to make a centerpiece using some pretty finds and incorporating east coast beach vibes. This is how I made a coastal centerpiece, and I think it captures the coastal grandmother look and coastal style in general.
I’m starting with this simple candelabra from Anthropologie. It’s pretty on its own and easy to use seasonally, as I did at Easter. You can read that post here. Today I’m using it as a casual beachy centerpiece. What makes this a coastal grandmother centerpiece? It’s simple, nature-inspired, and quite beautiful. Especially the white stones! It’s perfect for a summer dinner party.
Or you could simply use trays and any simple candle holder. Arrange the stones, shells, and driftwood around the candle holders inside a tray like these from Terrain.
I thought I would share some of my other coastal grandmother favorites. Mary Ann’s new living room that she posted on Instagram has that vibe for sure! Check it out here and let me know what you think!
What makes this a coastal grandmother centerpiece? It’s simple, nature-inspired, and quite beautiful. Especially the white stones!
Where does a Coastal Grandmother shop, and what would she buy?
The first place that comes to mind is Serena & Lily. I think of Erica Barry’s home in The Hampton’s in Something’s Gotta Give—very much the esthetic of Serena & Lily. Dare I say, some of the furnishings are starting to look a little dated, though? After all, the movie is from 2003.
From oversized knit sweaters, shirt dresses, white button-down shirts, blue jeans, and a sun hat to lots of linen, there are many different ways to capture the coastal grandmother style.
Jenni Kayne, definitely. Cashmere sweaters and T-shirts. Can’t you see Erica Barry wrapped up in a Cocoon Cardigan on the beach?
According to Nancy Meyer’s Instagram post, there may have been a little GAP too. I mean, you can’t go wrong with a pair of khakis from GAP and a bucket hat from J.Crew.
Coastal Grandmother love rattan
You can bet that every coastal Grandmother has at least a few rattan or wicker pieces, if not several. A few favorites include this scalloped handwoven wicker tray, a rattan side cart or bar cart, a pair of chairs indoors or out, a mirror or two, and lighting somewhere in her home that might include something like this or this!
What does the coastal grandmother wear?
I keep going back to Something’s Gotta Give. Kahki pants, cardigan sweaters, white T-shirts, and a bucket hat. There’s that, but then Diane Keaton’s character also wears a chic white suit, turtlenecks (obviously), and cashmere v-neck sweaters. She’s very chic but low-key at the same time.
Coastal Grandmothers would always own things with stripes—everything from a striped beach umbrella to towels, rugs, pillows, bags, and even t-shirts.
Stripes play well with everything, and the one thing about a coastal grandmother is that she likes to keep things simple. All things a coastal grandmother would have in her home and to wear.
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